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Manheim reports used vehicle prices and sales rose in January

Used vehicle prices and sales rose from December, but year over year numbers paint a less positive picture.

According to the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, wholesale used vehicle prices rose 2.5% between the ends of December and January. During the same period, used vehicle sales also rose 16%.

In comparison to last year, used vehicle prices have fallen by 12.8%. Taking seasonal adjustment into account decreases the number to 11%. Compact cars, luxury cars, midsize cars, pickups, SUVs, and Vans all showed year over year decreases, with luxury cars having the most depreciation since last January. However, in comparison to December, all market segments except midsize and luxury vehicles showed minor improvements.

In addition to month over month gains, used vehicle sales also increased from last January by 5%, based on data from vAuto. The strength of its sales made last month an outlier, since demand rarely grows at the start of the year. By last week, used vehicle dealers had enough supplies for an average of 44 days, twelve less than in December and six less than in 2022.

Consumer confidence was a mixed bag last month, dropping 1.7%. However, drivers are feeling more positive on buying conditions than they have in nearly two years. This could lead to further improvements in used vehicle sales later in 2023.

Put together, used vehicle prices, sales and consumer sentiment suggest that January was a mixed bag for the industry. While no miracles arrived, and none were expected, there were some positive signs for growth in comparison to December. The numbers are less promising when examined against 2022. However, the year over year change in used car values brought less impact than it did last January, when prices had fallen 15% rather than 11%, making 2022 one of the worst performing years on record. Whereas last year was a slog for many retailers, there remains a chance that a sense of normalcy may return in 2023 for the preowned market, especially as manufacturers do little to address high new car prices.

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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